With the regular season wrapped up, the National Lacrosse League playoffs began this past weekend and featured, among other things, huge comebacks and hopes of a championship repeat alive.
Saturday afternoon saw three of the four divisional semifinal match-ups take place, with the first coming at Blue Cross Arena as
the Rochester Knighthawks bested the Philadelphia Wings, 10-8 and kept their hopes of an NLL Championship repeat alive. Cody Jamieson of the MLL’s Hamilton Nationals helped lead the way for Rochester, registering three points on one goal and two assists as did fellow Nationals Stephen Keogh and Joe Walters. For the Wings, Drew Westervelt of the defending MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks tallied four points on two goals and two assists on the day, while Brendan Mundorf (Denver) had three points on two tallies and a helper. In addition, Kevin Buchanan (Boston) had three points for Philadelphia as well, scoring once and garnering two assists, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Wings, as they were clipped by Rochester and extended their playoff win drought.
Following a 6-0 deficit early on, the Washington Stealth were able to make
a miraculous comeback and best the Edmonton Rush, 12-11. Rhys Duch (Hamilton) was the standout contributor for Washington, registering six points on four goals and two assists with fellow National Brett Bucktooth close behind with five points on one goal and four helpers. Edmonton’s Mark Matthews (New York) made a statement in his NLL Playoff debut, scoring four points on two goals and assists apiece, but it was in vain as the Rush were crushed in the Western Division semifinal.
Rounding out the action on Saturday night was the other Western Division semifinal that saw the Calgary Roughnecks
take down the Colorado Mammoth, 15-10 in the Scotiabank Saddledome. Geoff Snider (Charlotte) had two points on as many helpers in the victory and Joe Resetarits (Hamilton) registered the same number of points, but split them with a tally and an assist. For Colorado, Jordan McBride (Denver) had five points as did John Grant, Jr. (Chesapeake) on five helpers and two goals plus three assists, respectively. Following the victory, Calgary will now play the Washington Stealth in the Western Division final at home in the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, May 4.
On Sunday, the NLL semifinals were topped off by a
Minnesota Swarm victory over the Toronto Rock, 20-11 and the Swarm securing their spot in the NLL Eastern Division Final. Jordan MacIntosh (Rochester) had six points on four goals and two assists for the Swarm, while Kiel Matisz (Ohio) had the same point total with three tallies and three helpers. Despite the loss, Garrett Billings (Hamilton) had five points with five helpers as numerous Rock teammates scored once or more, but the team could not mount enough offense to weather the onslaught of Minnesota. The Swarm will now face-off with the Rochester Knighthawks in the Eastern Division final at Blue Cross Area this Saturday, May 4.